Biologists use huge nets in Mississippi River to remove carp

Published 5:55 pm Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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LA CROSSE, Wis.  — The Department of Natural Resources in both Wisconsin and Minnesota are working with federal officials to try a new method to capture and remove invasive carp from the Mississippi River.

Biologists are using huge nets to section off parts of the river where the carp have been found. Recently they were working near La Crosse, a spot where the invasive species has been increasing in numbers.

Underwater sound and electricity are used to drive the fish into the nets. The agencies are working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey on the project which began last week.

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Wisconsin DNR supervisor Jordan Weeks says the capture method originated in China but has been modified by U.S. wildlife officials to remove invasive species like silver, bighead and grass carp from highly populated areas, Wisconsin Public Radio News reported.

Wildlife biologist Randy Hines says removing the carp helps preserve native fish by reducing their need to compete for resources.

Hines said silver carp and other species have been spotted in increasing numbers in the La Crosse area and wildlife officials hope the new method could be a tool to manage the spike.

“We’re determining whether the technique could be used for rapid response in the future. If they see new invasions or the population is increasing in a local area, they could go in there and do something about it,” Hines said.